MLB to support ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in August

In Memory of Lou Gehrig, and In Honor of ALS Advocacy Heroes Pat Quinn and Pete Frates, MLB Clubs Will Throw the Challenge to One Another Throughout the Month

MLB Donates $100,000 to ALS Association; Fans Can Donate at ALSIceBucketChallenge.org, Tag on Social Media

with #ALSIceBucketChallenge and #EveryAugustUntilACure

          Major League Baseball announced today that, in partnership with the ALS community, its 30 Clubs will participate in the return of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge this August. Throughout the month, each Major League Club will host its own ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and will then challenge another franchise, along with two other local personalities or organizations, to partake in the charitable effort. 

As a part of the initiative, Major League Baseball is donating $100,000 to The ALS Association. The funds will be used to further collaborative efforts between several ALS organizations. Fans can join MLB by donating at ALSIceBucketChallenge.org, a dedicated website to inform people about ALS and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and to ease donations to an ALS organization of their choosing.

Co-founders Pete Frates and Pat Quinn will launch the Challenge on Friday, July 31st at Fenway Park, where the Boston Red Sox will host the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox, who signed Frates to an honorary contract earlier this season, will lead off the MLB-wide effort and will then invite another Club to follow suit.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. There is no known cure for the disease. However, as a result of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, significant new investments in research on the causes of and potential treatments for ALS have been made.

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: "As the sport of Lou Gehrig, Baseball's longstanding participation in the fight against ALS dates back to 1939. In 2015, there remains no cure to the disease that bears his name, even after the great strides of last summer's phenomenon. Pat and Pete are passionate baseball fans, and in memory of Lou Gehrig, MLB and its Clubs are honored to support their vision."

"We are so thrilled and grateful to have every Major League Baseball team supporting us this year," said Frates, a former Boston College baseball player and team captain. "Pat and I can't wait to kick things off this Friday at Fenway. As the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge hits every ballpark around the country, we hope it will get bigger and bigger."

Following are more facts about ALS (source: The ALS Association):

WHAT IS ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control muscle movement. ALS robs you of your ability to walk, talk and eventually breathe. It's always fatal. ALS leads to slurred speech, difficulty grasping objects, accidental falls, choking or difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and difficulty standing for long periods of time. 

ALS BY THE NUMBERS:

  • $2 Billion:             Estimated cost to develop a drug to slow or stop the disease's progress.
  • 5,000+:                People are diagnosed with ALS annually in the United States.
  • Every 90 minutes:    Someone is diagnosed and someone passes away in the U.S.
  • 90%:                              Of all cases are sporadic, which means they occur randomly.
  • 2-5 Years:             The average life expectancy for those afflicted.

MESSAGE FROM THE CO-FOUNDERS:

"You may ask, 'Why do the Ice Bucket Challenge again?' And we understand. It's easy to see it as a one-time event. But let's make it more than that. Let's make it into a movement. Even though we've raised $220 million worldwide, a new ALS treatment can cost up to $2 billion, while the costs of ALS patient care can be over $250,000 out-of-pocket per year, above and beyond what insurance covers. So grab a bucket and a camera and join us. Be creative or keep it simple. Whatever you do, please make a donation to an ALS charity and remember to have fun! We officially challenge YOU to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this August and #EveryAugustUntilACure."

- ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Co-Founders Pat Quinn and Pete Frate